On a not so typical Wednesday, (August 24, 2022) four Ramblers trusted me enough to lead an inaugural trip. The selection was a lifetime objective, Mt. Cokely via the CPR trail. We were blessed with fine weather (although a little warm) and no smoke of any significance. We had a very experienced crew and exchanged some safety information, introductions and started our walk.
As the temperatures soared to 30 degrees in the valley below, the strong wind on Mt. Cokely kept us cool, for the most part. The views, the flowers, the rock scrambling, and the wonderful company made for another great outing in the mountains of Vancouver
Island. We started off about 9 a.m. with a short walk up the old road.
Mt Cokely sounded like an interesting destination. I had read about
the trip on the Island Mountain Ramblers page several weeks before, and
though at first it was fully booked, I managed to latch on when a few
people cancelled. The plan, for our group of ten, was to ascend the
Saddle Trail, scramble up to the ridge of Cokely, and then further on to
the summit. On the return trip, we’d return to the ridge, find the
Rosseau Trail, and return to the vehicles via that route. This would be
my first visit to the Mt Arrowsmith Biosphere Region, and I was looking
forward to the views!
The lightest of rains and low clouds followed us as we made our way
from Nanaimo on the Island Highway toward Highway 4. By the time we
passed through MacMillan Provincial Park (Cathedral Grove) and turned
onto Summit Main, the rain had begun to fade. Next came more logging
roads, as we followed Cameron Main and Pass Main to the trailhead high
above, at roughly 1000m in elevation.
On June 7th a group of four ascended to the saddle between Mount Cokely and Mount Arrowsmith to practice using crampons and mountaineering axes. Despite the sun breaking through the clouds we had good conditions for our practice.
We started with the goal of practicing essential skills of the winter mountaineer: walking with crampons, and self-arrest. Although the slope conditions in the prior week would have been ideal, a recent dump of snow worked against our plan.
Sunday July 15th was a great day for a hike, with clear blue skies. 9 hikers in two vehicles drove Cameron Main and parked at the saddle parking area of Mt Arrowsmith. We started hiking at 9:30 and heading up the saddle, many had not done this hike before so they were in awe how beautiful it was. Glacier Lily’s were seen, as well as other wild flowers. Just a bit of snow left at the top of the saddle.
It was a great day to spend with Carol and Ellen (guest) on this hike July 8th from Cameron Lake to Mt Cokely.
The pace was great and the views spectacular. We made it up in 3.5 hours, very little snow which actually made it harder as rocks were slippery, and the old ski hill had lots of that loose scree. The trail was in great shape and we took our time coming back talking with those going up, and spending some time at the creek. Just short of 8 hours, 20k and 1400m elevation gain.